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September 8, 2010


September 8, 2010

I have been acquainted with Peace Learning Center since it began, and served on the Board for a term. I was their first Executive Director. Currently, I teach at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a class called "Introduction to Mediation". This is a Communication Department elective open to upper-level undergrads and graduate students, which is part of the Peace Studies and the Global Studies certificate programs. 20% of the students' grade is based on a Service Learning requirement, and Peace Learning Center has for several semesters provided an excellent opportunity for my college students to see the connection between theory and practice in an impactful, immediate and concrete way. In their reflection papers, my students are writing about how their experiences at the Peace Learning Center workshops have taught them so much. My students are often impressed by the work of the PLC facilitators. They write about how readily the 4th graders adopt peaceful conflict resolution, how easily the children can access difficult emotions, how resilient and generous their spirits are. If only, I read, adults could be so open to trying a different way of handling their disputes. Peace Learning Center has made a difference in many childrens' lives, changing the climate in their schools and classrooms, and also made an impact on the college students who come to volunteer with them.

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In my university course, Service Learning requirement, as an opportunity to move from theory into practice.

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